Our driving behaviour are influenced by many different factors. This handy list will help you identify and avoid the potential pitfalls.
This post was published on 17 May, 2018

No matter the amount of driving experience or training we have, we are all faced with thousands of external influences that changes the way we drive… more often than not for the worse. 

Most of these external influences are often so subtle and mundane, we don’t even realise how much and how often they push us to behave out of character. Yet, the harsh reality is that if you are guilty of these, even without realising it, it could mean that your car insurance claim is rejected should an accident happen. 

This list, compiled by Old Mutual iWYZE, will help you to be more aware of these potential ‘potholes’ and how to avoid them. 

  1. Peer pressure

    You share the road with thousands of drivers and the way they drive inevitably influences our own behaviour. Just think of the times that you drove faster than you should have, because the car behind you was riding on your bumper… or that time you sped up to cut off that taxi driving in the yellow lane. 

    Learn to recognise when other drivers or passengers influence your behaviour and find a technique to keep a cool head and stay true to your own responsible driving style. 

  2. Social expectations

    Life is rushed. We all have places to go, things to do and people to keep happy. Often, without realising it, these social expectations changes the way we would normally drive. 

    Stop, take a deep breath, and think twice… being five minutes late is NOT the end of the world, having that extra drink before driving CAN be the difference between life and death and running that amber light CAN land you in an accident.

  3. Media

    Whether we like to admit it or not, the media does influence our behaviour on the road. Think twice before driving a little faster because the news report warned you of a traffic build-up ahead, or becoming distracted by a billboard or your favourite jam on the radio.

  4. Alertness

    For many of us, driving becomes a habit. Ever had that feeling of not remembering your journey once you arrived? This is called ‘zoning-out’ – relying on muscle memory and instincts to navigate the road without being fully alert to what’s happening around you.

    By focusing solely on the road and keeping alertness levels high at all times, you can instantly respond to threats or hazards. Therefore, it’s vital to take regular breaks and avoid distractions that shift our attention from the road.

  5. Attitude: immature vs mature driving behaviour

    There is a clear distinction between Immature and Mature driving behaviour. 


When you are an immature driver:

  • Characteristics: You don’t control your emotions, allowing extreme emotional reactions such as rage, impatience and overconfidence to determine your driving.
  • Typical behaviours: Aggressive driving, excessive risk-taking, loss of self-control and delayed or inappropriate responses to driving situations.
  • Effects of immaturity: You have a reduced attention span, poor judgment, and poor performance levels, increasing your risk of being involved in an accident or incident. 

When you are a mature driver:

  • Characteristics: Self-control. The result is that you are content, cheerful, optimistic and discerning.
  • Typical behaviours: Your decisions are rational and you consider the effect of the environment on your driving.
  • Effects of Maturity: Good judgment, an increased attention span, and a more efficient performance behind the wheel.


We can’t control the road, but we can control our behaviour on it. Old Mutual iWYZE considers factors such as your driving and claims history to determine your car insurance quote. So… if you’re a responsible driver, GET A QUOTE and see how much we can save you. 

Underwritten by Old Mutual Insure Ltd (FSP12), an authorised FSP. Risk profile dependent. Terms and conditions apply. 

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